A federal lawsuit was filed Monday against the Kenosha Unified School District in the city of Kenosha and the Kenosha Police Department on behalf of a 12-year-old girl and her father. A video showed the girl being held in the Lincoln Middle School cafeteria last year, strangled by an off-duty police officer.
In a 14-page complaint, the girl’s attorney, Drew Devigny, said the girl’s rights were “extended” when ex-cop Sean Getchew used “unreasonable and excessive” force to detain her at lunch. acted with malice or reckless disregard.” Fight her in the room, putting her knees on her neck for over 20 seconds.
Guetschow worked part-time as a school security guard for the school district and was also a Kenosha police officer. He resigned from his role with the school district a few days after the incident, but in his resignation the school district complained of a lack of support.
It is unclear if Guetschow is still in police service, DeVinney was unable to say, and Kenosha Police did not immediately respond to questions by Journal Sentinel.
DeVinney alleges that the school district and city police department are also to blame for their lack of training and perceived Guetschow’s “irritability.”
Since the girl is a minor, her father, Jerel Perez, is also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
The incident occurred on March 4th and was captured on surveillance footage. The video appears to show another student approaching Perez’s daughter and Perez’s daughter pushing another student, causing a fight to ensue.
Guetschow intervenes by separating the other students from Perez’s daughter. Later, Getchu got into a fight with Perez’s daughter before he fell to the ground and hit his head on the cafeteria table.
Guetschow then held Perez’s daughter’s head to the ground and held her knees against the girl’s neck, strangling her for more than 20 seconds. Officers then handcuff Perez’s daughter to her and take her out of her cafeteria.
According to a complaint filed by the girl’s attorney, Perez’s daughter was unable to breathe while Getchu held her knees around her neck, suffered physical and mental trauma, and decided to transfer schools as a result of the incident. The girl currently lives with Perez in Illinois.
“(Perez’s daughter) has been in treatment for almost a year for physical and mental injuries. She has not healed from her trauma, but she is ready to stand up for herself.” ”.
DeVinney claims that the Kenosha Police Department has an off-duty policy, so Guetschow was subject to them while working part-time as a district security guard. The city failed to train and properly supervise Getchu, according to the complaint.
DeVinney said his client is requesting a jury trial in a civil lawsuit.
The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against Getchu, but initially charged Perez’s daughter, Devine said. DeVinney said there was no conviction and “the case is closed.”
There was also an FBI investigation into the incident. It is not known if the investigation has been closed. An FBI spokesperson did not respond prior to publication of this article.
Contact Drake Bentley at (414) 391-5647 or [email protected]Follow him on Twitter. @DrakeBentleyMJS.
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This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Kenosha girl sues school district, cop for knee on neck